Keeping Up With the Gays of DC and Marvel
By Andrew Villagomez
Joining Northstar in the Astonishing X-Men series is lesbian mutant Karma (who came out in 2003 as one of the first openly lesbian superheroes). Unlike her fellow gay teammate, Karma has always been a part of an X team. She has had an interesting past and traumatic past, such as seeing the death of her parents at a young age, going under mental domination by an all powerful evil mutant (Shadow King), and most recently, has lost one of her legs (which has been replaced by a prosthetic one). Not too much has been explored on her sexuality, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming issues since her main character role in the series.
Other members of the gay community in the X-Men series include young gays such as the reptile-like Anole (who has been mentored by both Northstar and Karma, and has become a regular member of the team), Graymalkin (was found by Anole, who helped him come to terms with his sexuality and is mentoring him), and Karolina Dean (a lesbian from the Runaways series from 2009, but the team has resurfaced in recent issues of Avengers Academy). There is also the gay mutant couple of Shatterstar and Rictor, who shared their first kiss and became a couple in 2009 after years of a very close friendship and hints of them being gay. From the X-Factor series, the couple’s relationship was explored and the writer Peter David won a GLAAD Award in 2011. They are still together, but as this is Shatterstar’s first romance, he is exploring the idea of women.
Outside of the X-Men, the Avengers also have a few players for our team, including a couple of young heroes in Avengers Academy, and the well received gay couple of Wiccan and Hulkling. In December, young heroes Lightspeed (Julie Power from the Power Pack who creates a rainbow when she flies) and new hotshot Striker (a fame hungry hero with electrical powers) came out to one another in Avengers Academy #23. Lightspeed is bi, and when the team encountered the Runaways, she and Karolina flirted with each other in the middle of combat during Avengers Academy #27. The two have started dating since then, Karolina has always been a lesbain in her series and has had two girlfriends.